When the Great Depression hit the state of North Carolina it was still a very rural state. Farming was our biggest industry at the time. Our local farms planted cash crops. Tobacco and cotton were the cash crops at the time but their prices had fallen tremendously.
The price drop led to not enough money to buy food. Tobacco prices dropped 86 cents a pound to 9 cents and cotton dropped from 30 cents to 6 cents. The constant cultivation of these so called cash crops badly damaged the soil on the local farms.
The damage of soil and the major drop in price led to debt. The only way the farmers could get out of debt was to sell there farms. These farms were bought by bigger and richer farmers. But when the farms were bought the sharecroppers had nowhere to go. So most of the sharcroppers began to travel to urban areas for more reliable work.
But the newly elected governor wanted a change. Oliver Max Gardner made programs such as live-at-home which helped encourage the farmers of the state to grow food instead of cash crops. These programs told every farmer that deeper plowing, better seed selection, crop diversity, and the correct use of fertilizer was how they needed to start.